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From a stunning villa on sunny Capri with Ali Smith to an unlikely temple in the heart of Copenhagen with Alan Hollinghurst, Treasure Palaces brings together over twenty of the world's greatest writers to give their own personal tours of the museums that have awed, haunted and inspired them. Join Andrew Motion as he muses on writerly methods in the British Library, or Matthew Sweet at the hands-on joy of the ABBA museum. Julian Barnes meditates on Jean Sibelius's music, as well as the composer's apple corer, while visiting his home in Helsinki. Jacqueline Wilson encounters the dolls of Le Musee de la Poupee, Tim Winton remembers his first bare-foot encounter with the National Gallery of Victoria, and Aminatta Forna ponders love tokens in The Museum of Broken Relationships. From mausoleums to massive galleries, from London and New York to Kabul and Zagreb, Treasure Palaces explores some of the world's greatest – and sometimes surprising – museums. The result is a collection of moving, lyrical essays that speak to the enduring power of museums in our cultural life, and will leave you longing to revisit your favourite treasure palace or looking for a new one to explore.
Maggie Fergusson was for many years the literary editor of The Economist's lifestyle magazine, Intelligent Life, and is author of two biographies, George Mackay Brown: The Life and Michael Morpurgo: War Child to War Horse.
"A joy to read"
"A remarkable collection of essays [with] a stellar cast-list [...] the essays bring something personal and unexpected out of each."
"The best pieces in this book [...] bring that intimate engagement with the past to vivid life. [...] Pieces have you planning urgent pilgrimages"
"A collection of memories to dip into"
– The Arts Desk
"These graceful, vicarious tours to museums famous and obscure are almost as good as the real thing."
– Kirkus Reviews